Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Parasite (2019)


Starring: Kang-Ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo and Woo-sik Choi
Director: Boon Joon Ho
IMDb rate: 8,6
My rate: 9

It's been released for awhile by now, and originally I posted this review in Dutch for my work. However, to keep this site alive I thought it might be time to translate it and show you my thoughts on Parasite. 

About Parasite: 
The movie tells the story of two Korean families: the poor Kim-family and the rich Park-family. The Kim's live at the bottom of the hill in a small, dirty house that regularly floods with rain. The Park family, on the other hand, lives at the top of the hill in a gigantic luxury villa. By coincidence, teenage son Kim Ki-woo gets a chance to tutor the daughter of the Parks. The luxurious life of the Park is very attractive to the Kims and Kim Ki-woo thinks of a plan to help his father, mother and sister also find jobs at the Parks. By means of lies and manipulation, the Kims, like a parasite, manage to penetrate the life of the Park family.

Parasite is the winner of some prestigious awards. It is the first Korean film to win the Golden Palm. The film has also won four Oscars, including best film of the year.

Like Boon Joon Ho's previous films, Parasite is filled with socio-political critiques of the torn class society. It gives a penetrating look at the differences between higher and lower classes and how these differences drive people to dispair to work themselves up to a higher class. The difference in height between the homes of both families is therefore no coincidence but instead represents a strong symbolic contrast between the economic inequality between the two families. While the way the Kims infiltrate the house of the Parks feels like a comic event, the film quickly turns into a grim tragedy in the second half.

The character are realistic and do not become stereotypes. For example, the poor people aren't being overly romanticized. Are they good people? No. Are they bad people? Also no. They are simply flawed human beings trying to survive. The Park also are not demonized as a wealthy high bourgeoisie. They are neat and seemingly likeable people. This ensures that Parasite has no bad guys and the characters remain in a morally gray area.

Parasite is an unpredictable mix of satire, black comedy and tragedy. It is a visual masterpiece and an absolute must-see for this year.

Saturday, 29 December 2018


Hello everybody! To make things easier I made a list with links to all my reviews. I will keep updating this list, so I've you're searching for a review about a specific movie or TV show, take a look! I also have a small link at the sidebar for easier access. Have fun and thanks for visiting A Horror Diary!

Click the link below to expand this post :).

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

It (2017)


Starring: Bill Skarsgard,  Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard
Director: Andy Muschietti,
IMDb rate:7,6
My rate: 8

Probably the most anticipated horror movie of 2017: It. I never did a review about the original movie so here are quickly my thoughts about it: I thought Tim Curry as Pennywise was absolutely amazing. He did an amazing job and he was quite scary as well. I liked how Pennywises looked very child-friendly which made it believable that little Georgie would follow him. However I did think the movie was way too long and the special effects were rather meh. The big spider at the ending? Please... I do realize the original It is from 1990 but even back then could have done much better. The book was, similar to the movie, quite long but in the book I didn't feel like it was that long at all. I thought there was a lot of tension in the book of It which I sadly missed in the movie.
Now! Let's talk about the remake of It.

When I first saw the trailer of this movie I was like "Nope." because the CGI of the clown looked pretty fake at some point and quite hilarious actually. I did however wanted to give it a chance because I am quite terrified of clowns in real life and since I loved the book I was hoping they made this one a bit more scary. Well I can say now that director Andy Muschietti (also known for Mama) definitely delivered with this remake.

First of all I think that casting Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise was an amazing choice. He pulls off that creepy smile so well. I've only seen him beforehand in the TV show Hemlock Grove in which he acted pretty good as well but sadly that script was overall just quite bad so it went a bit unnoticed I suppose. I liked most of the kid actors as well and I personally can't wait to see which actors will represent their adult versions in the sequel. Personally I'm just really hoping that Seth Green will be adult Richie Tozier because I love Seth Green as an actor and it would be nice considering he played the child Richie in the original It. That being said, while I love Finn Wolfhard in Stranger Things, I did feel like his representation of Richie Tozier was a bit forced.

I mentioned earlier that I loved the somewhat child-friendly look that Tim Curry's Pennywise wore, however I do feel like this new representation of  Pennywise is much more scary. It reminds me of one of those creepy dolls that old people have in their house because they think it's cute but in reality it looks like it will move one day to murder everyone in their sleep. Personally I think both looks work well to be honest. The atmosphere in this remake is a lot more dark, especially when they visit the old house, which of course makes the movie a lot more tensive. AND BOI: that freaking room filled with clowns?! Get me out because that shit is creepy as fuck.

This movie currently has a 7,6 on IMDb which is first of all a really high rate for a horror movie, but second of all for a remake! Personally I can't disagree with the rate because I really liked watching this movie. I'm also glad they split it in two parts (please don't make more than that) so that the won't be as absurdly long as the original. In short: Go watch this!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Annabelle: Creation

Starring: Lulu Wilson, Talitha Bateman, Miranda Otto, Anthony LaPaglia
Director: David F. Sandberg
IMDB rate: 6,6
My rate: 7

Long time no see! Will I have been gone from this blog, I certainly did not give up on watching horror movies. Does this mean I am back? I have no clue really, we'll see about that I guess :). This review will be about the prequel of Annabelle (which is the prequel of The Conjuring), this being titled Annabelle: Creation. I did not like the first movie that much. It had a lot to offer but the execution of it was rather meh. The sequel actually was surprisingly good compared to it. Here's why....

I felt like Annabelle: Creation had a much more thought out plot compared to the first part. This actually is a prequel to the first movie where you find out about the origins of the evil doll. I however have to admit that the beginning is a bit questionable. Of course the couple where the kids are staying have a secret room no one may enter and of course someone enters it unleashing all evil. It's a bit predictable, eh? I however did like to get to know the story behind the doll. However, I wish we got to see a bit more of the time in between the accident of little Bree and the moment the orphans enter this house. I felt this was rushed too much and it put too much focus on the "now", meaning it still doesn't describe the origins of Annabelle completely. 

I was quite impressed with the acting in this movie. Lulu Wilson (Linda) and Talitha Bateman (Janice) make two excellent friends. Lulu Wilson, also known for her role in Ouija: Origins of Evil, does a great job as young Linda. Mind you, all the viewers fate has to be put in this little girl to save her best friend Janice. I mostly was impressed with Talitha Bateman though. While her character was written very smartly already, she adds even more into the little Janice, who you can't help feel sorry for even though she strictly asks for no compassion because of her injury. They both add a great deal of character to this film.

What I liked most about Annabelle: Creation is the fact that it doesn't rely heavily on the jumpscares. Now the first Annabelle movies definitely tries to creep people out by putting in dumb loud noises and sudden things appearing in the screen. But this mostly just means you got scared of the sound, not of what is happening in the actual movie. And it solely means you are scared to get scared of another sound once again. In my opinion it is much better if a movie tries to make you sit on the edge of your seat because there is so much tension going on. This is exactly what Annabelle: Creation does. Overall, I would definitely recommend giving this movie a chance, even (or especially!) when you did not like the first Annabelle movie. 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak
IMDB rate: 6,8
Genre: Ghost
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam
My rate: 5

It's been a long time since I wrote a review. I was a bit burned out from writing I suppose, busy with school and just not interested in writing for a bit. I love horror movies, and I always will, but it's a fact that 90% of horror movies is garbage and I suppose writing about them would be just more or less the same like previous ones. It's not that I didn't watch any horror movies or something, I actually still have a lot of concepts waiting to be written. It's more that I just didn't feel like writing about them I suppose.
Recently I watched the movie Crimson Peak, a movie I was very interested in and happens to be made by the director of an excellent movie: Pan's Labyrinth. Now I must admit that I don't like everything Guillermo del Toro has made. For example, I wasn't much of a fan of Hellboy and Pacific Rim. I also didn't like Don't Be Afraid in the Dark too much. Anyway, the trailer of Crimson Peak was promising and many people seemed to like it so I was glad I was finally able to see it.
To officially start this review I'd like to start with saying that I wasn't a very big fan of Crimson Peak. I was actually rather bored during most parts of it and thought it was kinda predictable. But! By seeing this movie it gave me some new-found inspiration to write a new review again! This is not because I want to burn this movie down with my opinion, not at all. It's more that I find this movie interesting to discuss because it's had some elements that I found interesting or whatever.

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds - and remembers.

Worldwide Accents
There's a great bunch of actors in Crimson Peak. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Stoker) did in my opinion a decent job portraying Edith. I did think her character could've used some character development. To me it seems like Edith was just a very plain woman, who just happens to be a bit stubborn and curious. I think she should've had more lines to make her character seem more interesting.
Tom Hiddleston's (The Avengers, Thor) character Thomas is kinda opposite of that, since he seemed to get all the character development and all the lines in this entire movie. He's the one talking the most and the entire story seems to be more about Thomas than about Edith. Tom Hiddleston did portray Thomas very well though, he has great looks for the "charming/mysterious" man. And his eyes, oh man his eyes will even make the viewers believe he's totally legit.
Rising star Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Mama, Interstellar) I was actually kinda disappointed about. I love her in other movies, she's a great actress with many talents I think. Her role in Crimson Peak as Lucille just wasn't really her thing I suppose. The entire character was just too much, too obvious and just not a suiting character for Chastain. In my opinion Jessica Chastain is an excellent choice for movies such as Interstellar and Zero Dark Thirty. Movies like Mama and Crimson Peak, I think not so much.

I think the casting in Crimson Peak was a bit odd. The beginning of the movie is set in America, where Edith, her father (Jim Beaver) and her friend Alan (Charlie Hunnam) are from. The second half of the movie is set in the UK, where Thomas and Lucille are from. Now the thing I find odd about this, and actually quite a bit annoying as well, are the accents in this movie. They were not performed all too great. Mia Wasikowska, originally from Australia, has to perform an American accent, which in my opinion sounded more British than American. Charlie Hunnam is originally from the UK and has a more British accent as well. Jim Beaver is actually the only one from America and he is also the only one with a believable accent. Tom Hiddleston is from Britain and luckily he had to perform a British accent, which was done great of course. Jessica Chastain on the other hand is from America and her British accent, not so good.

Don't Be Afraid of Mama?
Crimson Peak felt too me as if I was watching Don't Be Afraid of the Dark again, but then like a very early prequel. The house is more or less the same: Big, creepy and haunted. Also the entire vibe was a bit the same, but like I said, just about 100 years earlier. The ghosts looked very lame to be as well. At first it felt as if I was watching a red version of the ghost in Mama, where Guillermo del Toro happens to be a producer off. Coincidence? I think not. Then after a bit it felt as if I was watching at the in-game ghost of the movie Stay Alive. Since it's an in-game ghost it doesn't look very real so now you know how the ghosts in Crimson Peak look. Basically, ghost creation wasn't the strongest point of Crimson Peak.
The scares in the movie were kinda predictable as well. Shadows passing by in the background, silly jump-scares and weird CGI ghosts crawling to Edith (who didn't even looked to surprised about it). Well, I actually think the entire movie was kinda predictable. I'm not going to spoil anything but I don't know why they try to keep that *secret* as some major surprise when they basically revealed it already in the beginning of the movie. The movie just feels a bit empty to be honest. By the way, Am I the only one who thought that stabbing scene was the lamest stabbing scene in movie history?

Nope, I wasn't a fan of Crimson Peak. It felt like a gothic romance story where they threw some ghosts in to make it seem horror. The ghosts actually are just some side-story to fill up the story about Edith's misfortune to run into the Sharpe's and thus friend-zoning the good-guy. I must admit that one thing that didn't 'underwhelm' me was the visual aspect of Crimson Peak. With that I mean how incredibly good the locations looked. An amazingly beautiful house, great setting for a gothic romance indeed. Sadly, visuals don't make a movie.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Unfriended (2015)


Alternative name: Cybernatural
IMDB rate: 5.8
Genre: Ghost, Found-footage
Starring: Heather Sossaman, Shelley Hennig, Moses Storm

It's been awhile since I last posted here. Still having difficulties trying to combine school, homework, watch TV shows while traveling in the train, World of Warcraft and writing reviews. Good thing is that I sometimes have to watch movies or play games for school but that's kinda different from the usual stuff I post about. Maybe someday I'll start writing about it here as well, we'll see.

So onto the 2015 horror movie Unfriended! I honestly didn't expect much from Unfriended and well.. it was good I didn't expect much because it was kinda rubbish really. Unfriended is a lot like the movie The Den where the movie is completely recorded with phone and computer cameras. In The Den it's filmed as if it's a documentary of screen-recordings. In Unfriended it's like we're just seeing the same thing that the main character does, so not with screen-recordings.

While video chatting one night, six high school friends receive a Skype message from a classmate who killed herself exactly one year ago. At first they think it's a prank, but when the girl starts revealing the friends' darkest secrets, they realize they are dealing with something out of this world, something that wants them dead.

Like I already mentioned, Unfriended is a lot like The Den because it has similar ways of approaching the set-up of filming. The Den however was a much better movie because it actually contained an interesting story, good build-up of plot and some likable characters. All of this is what lacks in Unfriended really.

Unfriended has literally the worst characters ever. They're all so unlikable and this already when you don't know the clue of the story yet. They're really all a bunch of dicks, no one seems to like each other and they're just very cringeworthy. Worst group of friends I've ever seen. There's really no character depth in any of them since they're all just a bunch of superficial jerks. They all still seem to live at home, yet while everyone is being murdered none of their parents seem to care. Huge plothole or are they really that terrible people that not even their parents care?

The actors are horrible as well. It was like looking at a 10-years old musical through Skype rather than watching some actual actors being terrified of ghost stuff. They were unrealistic and honestly it's not really an acting talent to just scream for 90 minutes.

The story is kinda.. meh... A ghost contacting and hacking people over Skype, it's kinda lame. Also why right at that moment? Why not sooner? You can tell me that this movie contains a beautiful message which is supposed to tell me "Don't be a (cyber) bully", but honestly even if I was I'm not really expecting someone to come back from death to make me kill myself over Skype. Because honestly, that's just bullshit.

Unfriended is in my opinion a rubbish movie that tries to be original with it's Skype approach but it fails miserably at being original. Purely Skyping the entire movie is just boring as hell. The approach is similar to The Den which I'd recommend if you want to watch a good original, somewhat similar, movie. Actors aren't very good, characters are horribly written and the plot is unbelievable.

My rate: 3/10

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)

The Human Centipede III

IMDB rate: 3,2
Genre: Mad Scientist, Comedic
Starring: Dieter Laser, Laurence R. Harvey, Eric Roberts, Bree Olson

The Human Centipede.. what a ride it has been. It started with the first Human Centipede movie which turned out to be the only movie from The Netherlands that I actually somewhat liked. The story was original and it all worked out pretty good I think. The second Human Centipede (The Full Sequence) movie was actually just plain awful. It really was just made to shock and had no interesting value whatsoever. The third movie was an entirely different story though, for some reason it tries to be comedic and tries to make fun of itself. It's not horror at all anymore, it's not shocking, disgusting or anything close to the first two parts. It tries to be funny, but fails at that pretty badly as well.

Bully prison warden Bill Boss, leading a big state prison in the USA, has a lot of problems; his prison statistically has the highest amount of prison riots, medical costs and staff turnover in the country. But foremost he is unable to get the respect he thinks he deserves from his inmates and the state Governor. He constantly fails in experimenting with different ideas for the ideal punishment to get the inmates in line, which drives him, together with the sizzling heat, completely insane. Under threats of termination by the Governor, his loyal right hand man Dwight comes up with a brilliant idea. A revolutionary idea which could change the American prison system for good and save billions of dollars. An idea based on the notorious Human Centipede movies, that will literally and figuratively get the inmates on their knees, creating the ultimate punishment and deterrent for anyone considering a life of crime. Having nothing to lose, Bill and Dwight create a jaw-dropping 500-person prison centipede.

While I thought Dieter Laser performed excellent in the first part, I was annoyed as hell watching him in this movie. Sure, maybe he played his role as lunatic prison boss well, but it was hard to look at that while being annoyed so much. His shouting, screaming and blurting did not make sense most of the time. Sidekick Laurence R Harvey had a role with more lines this movie, but while I hated The Human Centipede II, I thought his silence role was more impressive compared to this cartoon-like performance.

Speaking of cartoon-like, I think the whole movie is comparable with a bad cartoon. Everything happening is over-the-top and doesn't make sense whatsoever. The dialogues are as unimaginative as in a bad cartoon and so are most performances. I think the best word for this movie is immature.

The first Human Centipede was a shocking and refreshing movie in my opinion, I liked it a lot. The second Human Centipede didn't make a whole lot of sense but certainly didn't fail to shock. The third Human Centipede however was boring, unimaginative and not fun to watch at all. It didn't even try to shock which I thought was a shame.

I like shocking movies, they often bring what others couldn't. A human centipede of 500 persons isn't more shocking than the one of 3 persons, or 12 for that matter. It all comes to the same conclusion which is that it's just a chain of people eating each others shit. This movie tries to make fun of itself, but really it's just 2 hours of useless screaming surrounded with... no story at all actually. In my opinion just watch the first movie and avoid the other two, maybe if you're into shocking shit without any story whatsoever watch the second one, but the third one, just a big no.

My rate: 1/10

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